Hello all. It has been a long time since I decide to embark on a new story, but I really want to try dipping my toes into this new/old fandom(?) This is an idea that has been revolving in my head for the longest, and I wanna try to nurture it into a fic. I haven't been swimming in Naruto for too long; I got lost somewhere in the middle and then came back again so if something isn't consistent I apologise and do inform me nicely!
Anyway without so much spoilers or confusion ahead. Here are the few things I want to clarify.
- This is somewhat like an AU. Everything takes place in an alternate timeline, because there's so little canon materials in Boruto. Hence the title of Arc I.
- I'll be making up some summoned animals and jutsus along the way. I don't mind suggestions for a few.
- Some things are going to absurd and confusing but I promise you there is going to be a reason for it.
- It will be an inter-dimensional war.
- Not going to be always Boruto-centric because character growth.
Anyway, thanks for reading this super long note and I shall plunge myself to hell.
It Should Never Happen
There he sits on a large rock, behind him the horizon. The sun is big, round and burning hot- its rays has long stroked his skin rough and pink. Dust storms whip in the distance, carrying granules of auburn dirt and grey pebbles. He scratches his nose and turns to a voice calling him.
"I've been calling you for over two minutes. Do you want a ride or not?" The figure taps his foot impatiently. He wears a tattered pale-yellow jacket that ends just above his thighs and a mask which covers half his face. They all do. It protects them.
They all look the same because of that. The only thing prominent about him, they guess- Shikadai guesses, he's called Shikadai- will be the grey earring on his right ear and the ugly scar on his left.
"They called me the one-earred shinobi, although I very much have two. How rude." He has once stated as a passing comment. He wasn't very annoyed however.
It doesn't matter too much anyway. Enemies don't really take note of scars. Enemies are just simply enemies. That is till they start dying. Then they will start realising the minute differences between their killers, like oh hey, the guy that's killing me only wears one earring.
"I hear you for two minutes." He replies, grins under his mask and barely avoids an angry swerve of a fist because Shikadai knows he's smirking.
"Then have the decency to answer me or I'll just ride back without you!" Shikadai hissed.
"Inojin's been hearing you for two minutes too." He points to another figure crouching in the distance.
"Nothing!" Inojin yells. He prods a fallen body with his brush.
Shikadai narrows his eyes and stamps his foot on dead grass. He then whistles for the Eii (summoned creature, stingray). "Yeah. Yeah. I should have just ridden back without any of you."
"You just said we were all valuable resources." Inojin says as he walks towards them. He holds a bag, but it isn't filled much.
"Three days ago." Shikadai raises three fingers. "I don't remember things I say to ignorant bastards three days ago. Therefore, all rights and concern regarding said bastards will be forfeited."
Neath his mask, he manages a small smile as Inojin counters with another of his witty retorts. He thinks the Kiri-Nin will descend with the Eii soon as he hears a ghastly wail in the distance.
"This is such a drag." Shikadai huffs.
"You say that, but end up doin' it anyway." Inojin laughs and kicks the red sand. It dances around like mini dust storms. There are loud movements soon after, like a large leather flapping. The Eii slowly descends and the Kiri-Nin waves for them.
He is about to go, but he spies a little green wedge between two pebbles. A thin sprout, most probably dying. It's barely visible and has one tiny green leaf. He almost thinks he has to use the Byakugan to see it.
"Boruto!" Shikadai grumbles.
He turns back and in that moment, the dust storms die. Broken monuments reveal themselves in the few seconds of tranquil and also therein among the rubble lies a Tori gate. Then, the dust storms dance again.
Orders had been simpler. Words had been simpler. When things were much simpler, he tended to take them all for granted and never did realise until it was far too late. From a hazed memory, he recalled snippets of the various conversations during last moments of peace.
Five years ago, Konohagakure, morning.
He was jolted awake not by his alarm clock, but by a strange siren that echoed within the village. The sun rays were just peeking through his curtains.
At the back of his mind, there was a thought that he should change out of his sleepwear. Instead, probably instincts, he slammed the door open and dashed down the stairs.
Somewhere, he hoped that his mother had the TV on, holding a pan filled with eggs and figuring what in the world was going on. Something, anything what a mom would do.
Yet the kitchen was all too clean and his mother was fixing up that familiar green vest on herself- the one that Konohamaru Nii-chan always wore (the one that screamed Jounin). On the couch was Hima's gaudy pink bag pack, half opened. Tissues and snacks were set on the coffee table.
"Mom." He said, lips strangely dry.
He knew his mom took missions from time to time. It had been more frequent since Hima started to enter the academy, yet she had never donned on a full uniformed outfit whenever she headed out. Just like Shikadai's mom or Sarada's mom, they all wore whatever was comfortable, fashionable and in their wardrobes. Konohamaru-Niisan did mention that his father, the Hokage, was never one to care too much about uniforms.
(Shikadai said there was more to it than that, but Boruto never understood.)
Hinata flinched as if she expected Boruto to still be in bed with all that incessant wailing or, as if she never heard the door slamming. He stood there awkwardly, with his sleepwear and then thought that it would have been better if he did change after all.
"Boruto. Good morning." She smiled with her pale eyes, like she always did. Today however, he could see that her smile was exceedingly strained. Hinata had never been a good actress. She bit her lips, looking like she was pondering over what to say, before she continued.
"How about you get dressed first?" Yeah, he told himself once again that it was entirely right of him to have changed first. "Your father is coming."
Boruto shuffled his feet. There was a bitter taste in his mouth.
His father hadn't been home in a week. No biggie. That old man was never home anyway. His mind tried to avoid trailing to other things. Relatable things, actual reasons why his father didn't come home or Sasuke-sensei putting their training on hold. Something within seemed to sneer at him, like how there seemed to be more Shinobi patrols, how he and his friends were no longer assigned field missions and his mom for two nights straight holding a scroll grimly under the dim lamp.
(He asked her about it and she was harsh about keeping it secret. He didn't dare to inquire his mom any further.)
Eventually, he relented and went upstairs. The bitter taste in his mouth had yet to fade.
An hour later while he was watching Hima trying to shove her ugly purple panda doll into her bag and his mother pacing restlessly around the house, the door bell rang. He saw his old man standing outside, eye bags prominent and a frown etched onto his face. He seemed haggard and his wrinkles were more prominent, like he had aged a decade.
He didn't greet him.
Afterwards, they sat around the dining table in silence. Hinata quickly made some toast, tea and coffee, trying to keep the kitchen as clean as possible. Boruto had a sickly gut feeling sinking deeper every moment, so he wasn't hopping around to look for any of his friends. His father was explaining something him in short clipped phrases, but he wasn't listening.
He knew they were just excuses, meant to cover up something. Instead, he was trying to grasp for snippets of information between his parents as they hovered near the kitchen counters. The situation sounded behind dire.
'-we've got to handle this by our generation, dattebayo. Sasuke still hasn't figured where they came from or if they are related to the Otsutsuki.'
'-am worried... We do not know anything about them?'
His mother turned to him some time during the conversation and asked if he had listened to his father earlier. He said he hadn't really got it as he played with his hot cocoa, getting the creme all over his tea spoon.
He chose to listen to his father after that. And that one time erupted in an all out fight.
All because he just couldn't understand the meaning behind 'stay back'.
"I said stay here, Boruto." His father's tone was fierce, even bothering on edge of hostility. His mother stood by anxiously and had a pleading look whenever she turned to look at him.
"No." He gnashed his teeth and stared angrily at him. He was young, but that doesn't mean he was stupid. He had more than an inkling as to what was going on. It was definitely high time for his old man to stop treating him like a stupid, little kid and to acknowledge him for the Shinobi he truly was.
He wasn't fully clear on the details, but it seemed that the war had worsened overnight, to the point that most Konohagakure Shinobi needed to participate in it.
"It escalated to a scale like the fourth Shinobi war or something, they even reestablished the Allied Shinobi Forces once more. Well, we still don't know if it's a war yet though I think it is." Shikadai frowned when they had met yesterday. "I heard my dad tell my mom. Anyway I can't finish this burger, I'm going home early. You should go home early too."
He too, when Shikadai left, dumped his half-eaten burger into the bin.
Yes Shikadai, it had been a war all along.
"Please don't quarrel any further, Boruto." His mother finally said. "Please. Listen to your father."
He glanced back and forth at the green Shinobi Uniform his mother had donned to the usual Hokage Outfit his father (with his cape all billowing in its regal glory) was wearing, which for some reason was inciting more displeasure in him. Behind the couch, Himawari watched with teary eyes.
His eyebrows furrowing once more, Boruto felt a bigger need to say his piece. "Dad, stop treating me like a kid! I can fight too!
He was certain, convinced, that he was far on a different league compared to his generation. He was thirteen, but he had honed his Ninjutsu skills to chunin level or higher. The last successful mission had proved it. Even old man Kakashi and Sasuke-sensei had reluctantly admitted that so why-
"You do not know the implications of war!"
"Oh yes! Sure I do!" He spat unceremoniously. Of course, he clearly did. He'd seen it all. He'd seen how the people got hurt, how his dad got hurt, how his mom got hurt, how everything was destroyed when Momoshiki came and how he had to go beat that guy down. That was why he was going to fight again and help beat down whoever was up there.
"Boruto. I think that you have the wrong conception of what a war is." His father sucked in a breath and glared at him. "This isn't a children's game. Now stay back and go look after Himawari. She needs you."
It was then Naruto's eyes softened and placed a hand on his shoulder.
However rage welling within, he did not register his gaze and slapped his father's hand away as if a pest was in his stead. There was silence between them for a full minute as they stared at each other, tides of anger rising and falling in him.
His father said nothing and his mother looked really pitiful. The doorbell rang and he saw Shikadai's dad casually lounging outside when his mom answered the door. The sharp look in his eyes betrayed his lazy exterior however.
"It's time." He mumbled.
"Go ahead first, Hinata. I'll join soon." Naruto sighed. Hinata then kissed Himawari on the forehead and pressed her palm to his cheek. She said nothing, her palm was cold. Boruto said nothing either. He watched her as she exited the house.
"Uzumaki Boruto." Naruto said.
"Fuck you." He whispered through gritted teeth so that Hima wouldn't hear him. His dad narrowed his eyes and then turned to Himawari.
"Bye bye, daddy." She whimpered.
"Don't worry. I'll be back soon." He ruffled her hair and managed a tight grin. He looked at Boruto, but Boruto did not see his expression. Then, he heard the deadbolt of main door clicking. Then, there was silence.
They were alone again.
It didn't matter. After all, his shitty dad was always fucking busy with something.
"Where do you think you're going? Stay in the village!"
Nearly fourteen hours later, Boruto frowned and shuffled away, hands ruffling his yellow locks, as the Shinobi who stood guard near the Konohagakure's entrance gave him a condescending glare. He muttered under his breath, not too soft but loud enough for those around his vicinity to hear. "Do they say that all the damn time? It's kind of tiring. And a mouthful."
He didn't meet the gaze of the shinobi when he turned away, but he felt an angry stare enough to bear holes onto his back. Yet he hadn't found any fault in his statement and even smirked a little as he continued his saunter. Honestly, he was even impressed that he actually waited for fourteen hours in the village. The feelings of his so-called triumphant small victory only lasted for seconds as Sarada took the liberty to whack the back of his head.
"Shut up, Boruto. Could you stop inviting trouble? This is the third time." Her voice was deep and stern. Boruto wanted to retort, but upon recalling the enormous strength the girl had possessed, he chose otherwise. A wiser decision to keep his mouth shut. Slinging his hands into his pockets, he just shrugged in his defence but the grimace on her face still remained.
He looked away. "Whatever."
"What? Boruto, this is something serious. Not just some E-rank mission!" Sarada growled as she folded her arms and glared at him. He shrank away, feeling rather accused, to where the other Gennin gathered.
Some time last night, Boruto and some of his good friends had decided to head to Konohagakure's gates- the entrance and exit. There wasn't any specific plans or motives in their peculiar action. Perhaps it was to soothe some anxious hearts. Boruto had left before Hima was awake. It's been five hours since. He thought that she would be alright; he had already taken out mom's pre-made breakfast out of the fridge.
Sarada didn't chastise him any further. Instead, she slung right back to Chocho's side.
"Just keep still alright." Shikadai muttered, emerald eyes occasionally flashing to look beyond the Tori gates.
Boruto snorted. Shikadai gave him a face and moved over to where Inojin was.
But it was only right to feel accused. Team 7 was comprised of him, Sarada and Mitsuki. Konohamaru Nii-chan too if teachers were included in the count. They were an official Shinobi team- registered, though slightly young- been on the field for almost a good year (9 months), went through the Chunin exams and had top notch teamwork. They even managed to clear two A-class missions successfully.
He simply didn't understand why they were just only akin to sitting ducks, simply just didn't understand why his father simply never gave him the chance to prove himself.
Boruto himself even faced Momoshiki and defeated him. His father knew that and yet...! The frustration was extremely unnerving.
"You are restless. Upset, I may even dare say." Mitsuki suddenly commented and Boruto nearly jumped out from his skin. Pale skin, azure hair, yellow eyes that glowed eerily and that ever motionless slight smile. Certain villagers round Konohagakure's borders would visibly avoid him.
Mitsuki was Orochimaru's kid they also said. (Boruto knew, since Mitsuki had told them once much earlier on.) Those villagers and their Elders that resided at the borders murmured the name with slight trepidation and silent hate. Boruto didn't like that part of Konohagakure. They weren't especially nice to him and Sarada too.
Boruto didn't personally know who Orochimaru was and he wouldn't care either way. Mitsuki was still undoubtedly one of his better speaking companions and wherever he originated from didn't matter to Boruto at all. Boruto could relate to that part the most. He found almost no joy in being known as the 'Hokage's son'.
Boruto was Boruto. Such as Mitsuki was Mitsuki.
"Not really." He did not have an actual answer in mind and swung his legs hard. He hoped Mitsuki would go away like Shikadai and not be too concerned with him. Boruto knew he wasn't in the best frame of mind to have a heart to heart chat.
"You are upset. I can tell. You're my sun." Mitsuki snaked his arms around him as he chuckled, his face inches away from his. Boruto tried to struggle away but to no avail. "And I'm not going away either."
"Mitsuki! There are the others here!" Boruto whispered harshly, cheeks flushed. Mitsuki had his chin above his head as he turned almost robotically.
"Look Boruto. The others are restless too." Mitsuki stated and then turned look at Boruto once more with that ever slight smile.
Boruto flinched a little and chose to cast his eyes on the crowd. He wasn't one to just listen to others. Partially, it was because Mitsuki's gaze was rather unnerving. This usually wasn't the case, it was just today. Perhaps the tension building within was starting to screw his emotions up.
In his brief survey, he saw his friends and realised the same number were still all gathered in front of the gate, rather than opting to stay indoors in their homes. None was settled, all nervous, biting lips, clasping hands and sweaty brows. Then Boruto eventually thought how everyone's parents were on the field too, and how they had to wait like him.
"Oh." Boruto said, his lips strangely dry. Mitsuki released his grip as Boruto sulked even more, but he wasn't too angry as per before.
He had wanted to fight too. He wanted to have contributions on his part. He wanted to help. He didn't want to see his dad in that shitty state again. He thought his heart might stop then. Emotions motions swirled messily within, like a storm and he thought he might grow breathless from just sitting down.
"My shitty dad and teacher are out there fighting. Not to mention mom and Konohamaru Nii-chan are just behind the front lines and even though Hima's safe, I know she wants mom back home. I can go out there and fight. I beat that guy, you know Momoshiki, I beat him! They just gotta send me- I mean us- out again." Boruto mumbled as he turned away from the crowd.
Speaking of which, he was still somewhat pissed at his dad. He had a hundred reasons as to why and yet at the same time, also none. No wonder they all said that being a teenager was so confusing.
"All the kages and the best Shinobi have been called onto field. It would be alright." Mitsuki replied as he continued watching Boruto with that mysterious glint.
Yeah, okay, whatever dattebasa. Boruto pouted and folded his arms. He hadn't told Mitsuki yet, that he had quarrelled with his father a few hours earlier. That it was so bad, all boiled down to a silent war of seething anger between the both males. Though he had a hunch that Mitsuki somewhat knew he got into a dispute with his shitty old man, but he wasn't going to raise it up ever and neither would Mitsuki if he knew.
He ain't going to take any initiative to apologise anyway. There wasn't anything he should apologise for. He meant every word he had said. His old. man should just take the initiative to apologise to him for once.
"Forget it! Screw the whole apologising thing." His mind screamed the very next second that he would prefer to leave it hanging for now instead. "Let's just hope we would sit around mom's dinner and forget all about it dattebasa!"
Fifteen minutes, time was down a slow crawl then. The atmosphere was tense and it was a humid afternoon, the sun bright and high. Boruto tried to ignore the trails of perspiration down his back and armpits, soaking his shirt thoroughly and angrily waved a bug away if they got to close to him. He watched as Sarada blinked irritably from the droplets of sweat that fell from her clumped up black fringe.
"I'm going back to look for Hima." He finally said and stood up abruptly. Even Mitsuki seemed surprised at his sudden outburst. When he started to walk away, he heard cries of horror and a searing heat that might just melt of his skin. He turned and saw nothing but bloody orange.
Then, the sounds of crashing stone pillars